Going on VaCachen

Thanks to advances in satellite technology, social media, and the Groundspeak Geocaching iPhone application, geocaching as a family hobby is wildly growing in popularity. Yes, you can enjoy finding all the caches in your neighborhood and even treasure hunt on a day trip or two. But what about geocaching as a reason to take a family vacation? At Road Trips for Families, we call it Going on VaCachen™.

Featuring resorts, festivals, state parks, and even entire towns that have designed a geocaching adventure as a way to literally check out  their neck of the woods; our newest column will feature new VaCachen ideas as we unearth them. Add a comment if you know one we missed (no spoilers, please). TFTC!

Chaminade Resort & Spa
Chaminade Resort & Spa sits on 300 acres of rolling hills and diverse terrain in the Santa Cruz Mountains, with panoramic views overlooking the Monterey Bay, giving it the ideal space and setting for a geocaching adventure. Chaminade Resort & Spa’s Geocaching for Families has 17 caches on the property in an inclusive hunt that begins with families receiving a clue booklet which provides clues to lead families to the next caches, which are well-disguised and hidden over approximately 100 acres of the property. Families who stay at Chaminade can select the Geocaching Family Adventure Package. The Geocaching package available for families includes rental of the following: up to 4 GPS devices, clue booklets, instructions for the Geocaching adventure and hours of fun resulting in a very memorable experience.

Star-Spangled Banner Geocaching Trail

The Star-Spangled Banner Geocaching Trail connects more than 35 sites with a War of 1812 connection in the Chesapeake Bay region of Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC. The geotrail is sponsored by the Friends of Chesapeake Gateways and Maryland Geocaching Society with the support of the National Park Service-administered Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail as well as Groundspeak, Inc. The geotrail has had more than 4500 local and non-local visits by all ages, with a highly-popular coin awarded to cachers who visit 20 or more sites.

Minnesota State Parks Geocaching Wildlife Safari

The safari adventure has begun! This three-year program will take you across Minnesotadiscovering the hidden gems of the state and revealing exciting facts about Minnesota’s favorite critters. Found at all 72 Minnesota state parks, the program runs from May 2, 2009 through May 2, 2012. It’s open to anyone and everyone (young and old, beginners and experts).  Twenty-five Minnesota state parks are considered Demo Parks, paks specifically geared for  families with their own GPS unit or needing to borrow a hand-held unit for free. Demo Park is available with helpful tips and geocaching information, and always welcome park visitors to stop in anytime during park hours and learn more about GPS units and geocaching. Demo Parks also host Geocaching 101 interactive workshops on how to use a GPS units and how you can get involved in the Wildlife Safari. Check the Minnesota State Parks website for details and other fun events and program information.

Decatur-Morgan County, Alabama Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Decatur, Alabama CVB has joined the geocaching trend by hiding several caches throughout the city. Scattered throughout popular attractions including the Civil War Walking Tour, the historic Princess Theater for the Performing Arts, and the Carnegie Visual Arts Center, you can download a copy of the Decatur Geocaching Passport from the website or pick up a copy in person. Visit all seven sites on the passport, marking each location with a stamp. When the passport is full bring it back to the CVB office and receive a special prize.

About the Author

Julie Henning
Julie Henning is a freelance writer and journalist based out of Eugene, Oregon. She is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers and owner of the family-travel website RoadTripsForFamilies.com. She is a recent past member of the Midwest Travel Writers Association and the Association for Great Lakes Outdoor Writers. Julie is the Oregon Coast destination specialist for Bindu Media, an itinerary-focused website launching in Spring 2016 and featuring the work of 200+ professional, indie travel writers. Julie has been published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Wisconsin State Journal, The Daily Journal (Kankakee, Illinois), the Rochester Post Bulletin, Wisconsin Natural Resources (DNR) Magazine, Sustainable Chicago Magazine, Group Tour Magazine, Student Group Tour Magazine, Silent Sports Magazine, Intercom Magazine, Roadtrippers.com, and FTF Geocacher Magazine. Julie has appeared on Wisconsin Public Radio, Ohio Public Radio, and KCBX FM Central Coast Radio and is an affiliate producer with the Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer, a National Public Radio travel podcast. She has blogged for TravelWisconsin.com, Travel Oregon, and VISIT Milwaukee. Julie travels with her three kids and black lab as much as possible and lives by the motto, "Not all who wander are lost." Check out some of her best work at www.juliehenning.com.